Seasonal Schools alumna Boyka Boneva has just celebrated the first anniversary of the NGO Inter Alia, which she founded last year.
News from May 02, 2014
In Boneva’s words, Inter Alia works to “to strengthen Europeans’ common sense of belonging”. Here she explains the Inter Alia mission, how the organization functions, and how you can join the cause.
By Boyka Boneva, Winter School Greece 2010; Vice-President of the CGP Alumni Association
Pigheadedness to remain occupied in the sphere of youth, in combination with the economic crisis, led to the establishment of Inter Alia: a not-for-profit, private, civil society organization, based in Athens, Greece.
How it all started
While on holiday in the summer of 2012 three friends came to ask each other, among other things: Why live in crisis? Why settle for this kind of Europe? And somehow this became the central conversation for many days to come.
At the end of the holidays we tended to agree that the global benefits and developmental potentials of the European Union can be only fulfilled and maintained with the participation of its citizens, and it is people who should demand their own space in European affairs. And that’s how it all started.
In March 2013 the three of us (Nikos Pasamitros, Nikos Papakostas and I) established Inter Alia, with the main objectives to promote communication between European people, to enhance civil society and collective action at the European level, and to strengthen Europeans’ common sense of belonging.
Behind the idea of a European Union, we envisage a sexier Europe for its constituencies, an inclusive Europe, a transparent Europe, a peaceful Europe, a growing Europe, Europe of people and peoples. (See more about our mission and vision).
Based on our firm belief that you can’t like something if you don’t know about it, Inter Alia uses four tools for action: Analysis, Debate, Networking and Research, which will bring Europe and its people closer to each other by learning.
Analysis: We publish short, original analyses that touch upon recent developments, concepts and ideas that unite or divide us, that promote or obstruct collective action, and that impact on our perceived role within our communities at all levels (local, regional, European, global).
Debate: This is the most important part of our endeavor, due to its direct impact and interaction between the participants. Through workshops, seminars and conferences we promote discussion and participation, trying to make Europe popular and likeable.
Networking: Inter Alia aims to support and promote views and activities of the numerous organizations that share our vision for an active and assertive European demos. So far, Inter Alia has established partnerships with 17 organizations from all over Europe.
Research: Inter Alia carries out academic research on issues related (but not limited) to contemporary cultural, political, educational, economic, commercial and social issues of Europe and beyond.
The name and logo
We needed a name: a representative, inclusive, easy-to-remember, well-sounding title and we stopped on Inter Alia for a whole list of reasons. This is how we envisage the social life of citizens – among other things, between personal and professional issues, with no competition against similar organizations, but together with them. Not wanting to become the biggest fish in a lake, but rather to make the lake bigger. Then, we realized that “inter alia” is a term that one finds more than often in EU documents, so it doesn’t sound “xeno”.
The artichoke in our logo is a symbol of peace and cooperation in some cultures and a series of layers to be discovered, like the EU, like people.